Title: Marked (Soul Guardians #1)
Author: Kim Richardson
Format: Kindle eBook
Publisher: Create Space
Release Date: March 15 2011
Taken from Goodreads
Sixteen year-old Kara Nightingale’s ordinary life is suddenly turned upside-down when she dies in a freak accident, and she wakes up in a strange new world with a new career—as a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion. Kara hurtles towards dangerous missions with the help of her Petty Officer and friend, David.
But when she discovers a Mark on her leg, the entire Legion accuses her of being a Demon spy. Angels are dying, and David begins to pull away from her. Can Kara prove her innocence as she becomes the Legion’s only hope?
It’s going to take a miracle to save the Legion, and Kara’s luck has just run out...
I've been making an effort with some self-published titles really. Mostly – as constant readers will have gathered – because I'm often too lazy to walk to the bookshelves when the Kindle app on my phone is within reach. However, after this and tomorrow's review, I'm taking a break from free Kindle books.
Marked is another example of why the self-published route is so flawed. It had a good idea behind it and elements of the story were well-imagined. However, it was in dire need of an editor to take a red-pen to it.
Kara was a promising protagonist, but her voice got lost. She tended to think in witty-one-liners which were often so incongruous to the situations she was in that it was hard to take her seriously. Her character tended to take even the most bizarre situations with a flippant acceptance. When I expected contemplation, confusion and dramatic pause, she ploughed on through the narrative.
This, inevitably, had a rather detrimental impact on the pace of the book as a whole. As Kara was dead, she didn't need to sleep. This, coupled with the “let's plough though” style of the writing, meant that everything seemed rushed and under-described. Considering the setting, there was very little world-building involved and I found that I simply could not suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the promising story.
Overall, this is one of those books which had potential. I wonder if Richardson tried to go the route of conventional publishing but didn't get anywhere. I've found that a lot of agents ask for the first 10,000 words / 3 chapters of a manuscript. That chunk of this book was so rushed that I can see why the book would have struggled in mainstream publishing. It did get better, but that's not much of a recommendation really, is it?
This could have been a four star story, but it's two star prose.